Prosecutors in Las Vegas are seeking an indictment against a Las Vegas City firefighter and West Point graduate who they say paid a homeless man to beat his wife to death in her home in late September.
When police found 46-year-old Shauna Tiaffay, a Las Vegas cocktail waitress and mother brutally murdered in her own home on Sept. 29, it seemed like a random crime. But today, prosecutors are saying her husband George Tiaffay, 40, was the mastermind behind the gruesome attack. They have accused Tiaffay of offering 37-year-old Noel Stevens, a homeless man, $20,000 to beat his once-beautiful bride to death.
"I felt that the minute I heard that the way that she had died, that he [George Tiaffay] had something to do with it," Shauna Tiaffay's friend Claudia Carrillo told ABC News.
According to the arrest report, police received a tip from a "concerned citizen" stating that Stevens, a friend of his, was paid to kill Shauna Tiaffay, and that he "hit the woman so hard with a hammer that the hammer broke." Stevens reportedly told police he did odd jobs for George Tiaffay.
After obtaining search warrants, a black dress was found in one of the tents set up by Stevens, which was the same size that Shauna Tiaffay wore. At the second, several women's thong panties and a pair of jeans with blood on the front later found to be Shauna's.
Carrillo and Stephanie Vargas, two of Shauna's best friends, are now breaking their silence, saying that they believe George Tiaffay was a verbally abusive husband.
"He was known for being controlling with her and I think this is a case of him trying to control her," Carrillo said.
Vargas agrees that George Tiaffay was very possessive of Shauna.
"[He was] one of those -- if I can't have her, nobody else can," Vargas said.
Police say the evidence speaks for itself, and that the details of the alleged murder plot read like a crime novel.
Investigators say George Tiaffay was in constant contact with Stevens, calling him 86 times in September. The two even exchanged phone calls in the moments before police believe Shauna was murdered.
Police also say they obtained surveillance video of the two men walking out of a hardware store together, after purchasing a hammer, gloves and knife.
Overnight, Stevens' attorney refused to comment. But George Tiaffay's lawyer issued a statement on behalf of his family.
"George did not commit the crimes he is charged with," he said in the statement."While all marriages have their ups and downs, George and Shauna were both committed to each other, and especially their daughter."
But Shauna's friends are still not convinced that George had nothing to with her death.
"To become a fireman and help people, how is it that you want to save lives but you take a life?" Carrillo said.
Tiaffay and Stevens were ordered to be back in court on Jan. 24, 2013, ABC affiliate KTNV reported